Within the past twenty years, contemporary Pagan leaders, progressive Christian and Goddess theologians, advocates for queer and BDSM communities, and therapeutic bodyworkers have all begun to speak forcefully about the sacredness of the body and of touch. Many assert that the erotic is a divinely transformative force, both for personal development and for social change. Although "the erotic" includes sexuality, it is not limited to it; access to connected nonsexual touch is as profound a need as that for sexual freedom and health. In this book, Christine Hoff Kraemer brings together an academic background in religious studies and theology with lived experience as a professional bodyworker and contemporary Pagan practitioner. Arguing that the erotic is a powerful moral force that can ground a system of ethics, Kraemer integrates approaches from queer theology, therapeutic bodywork, and sexual minority advocacy into a contemporary Pagan religious framework. Addressing itself to liberal religious people of many faiths, Eros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective approaches the right to pleasure as a social justice issue and proposes a sacramental practice of mindful, consensual touch.
Christine Hoff Kraemer holds a PhD in Religious and Theological Studies from Boston University. She is an instructor at Cherry Hill Seminary and Managing Editor of the Patheos.com Pagan channel. Kraemer’s research focuses on contemporary Paganism, popular culture, body theology, and sexuality, and her publications include Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies (2012) and Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (2010, co-edited with A. David Lewis).